Varian Loses Two Listed Races Over Feed Contamination

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Roger Varian | Scoop Dyga

The Roger Varian-trained fillies Angel Power (GB) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) and Queen Daenerys (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) have been disqualified from listed wins at ParisLongchamp in September as a result of the well-documented Gain feed contamination saga that also saw Aidan O'Brien scratch his four runners from the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. France Galop has revealed that 12 horses tested positive for the prohibited substance Zilpaterol as a result of the feed contamination, but all the trainers involved-including Varian, who was the only overseas trainer affected-have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Varian, who withdrew all his runners in the coming days when the situation came to light on Oct. 1, told Racing Post on Friday, “I am very disappointed for the owners of Angel Power [King Power Racing] and the owner of Queen Daenerys [HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa], that through no fault of our own these two horses were found to have traces of Zilpaterol in their system.

“From the very first days that we learned about this situation it was clear we were dealing with a contaminated feed scenario, one that I as a trainer had no prior knowledge of or reason to suspect might arise. I would like to thank Gain Equine Nutrition for the speed with which they made the industry and public aware of the situation. I am grateful to France Galop for recognising that no blame was attached to the trainers who were caught up in this unfortunate situation. And finally, I would like to thank King Power Racing and HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa for their understanding and support over the period of time since we first learned about the positive results.”

Zilpaterol is a synthetic substance that is used to promote weight gain in cattle, but that is unregistered in Europe. Martin Ryan, Head of GAIN Equine, said at the time the contamination came to light, “We apologise sincerely to our valued customers for the inconvenience caused by this incident and we are committed to promptly keeping you fully informed. A thorough investigation and trace back of all feed ingredient sources is underway as a matter of urgency to determine how this external contaminant could have found its way into some batches of our equine product.”

The other trainers involved with positives were David Cottin, Fabrice Chappet, Simone Broggi, Jean-Philippe Dubois and Jacques Ortet.

Angel Power has progressed to win the G3 Pride S. and the G2 Premio Lydia Tesio since taking the Sept. 3 Prix de Liancourt. Queen Daenerys, who like her stablemate was winning a black-type race for the first time in France in the Sept. 10 Prix Joubert, has not run since.

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